James helps his clients to successfully avoid, manage and resolve property disputes. He prides himself in reducing the stress, uncertainty and disruption that such disputes can cause, and providing his clients with a clear and cost-effective path to reach a resolution.
James has acted for businesses, charities, insurers and individuals from all walks of life with a focus on resolving disputes relating to commercial property.
James is experienced in advising on the full range of property disputes, including disputes about:
- Agricultural tenancies of land
- Breaches of contract
- Break options
- Business lease renewals (opposed and unopposed)
- Enforcing judgments
- Equitable interests in land
- Freehold and leasehold covenants
- Land registration (including applications to protect interests in land)
- Public rights of way
- Recovering possession of property (agricultural, commercial and residential)
- Service charges.
James strongly recommends the use of alternative dispute resolution in appropriate cases, and regularly attends mediations and other settlement meetings for his clients. James is also an experienced advocate, and regularly represents his clients at a wide variety of court hearings.
James is experienced in advising clients on different funding arrangements, including legal expenses insurance, after the event insurance and conditional fee agreements.
Regional developer - Represented the developer of a mixed use scheme in Norfolk in defending a claim by a neighbouring owner claiming a right of way over and a right to park on the client’s development. The dispute was resolved following mediation, resulting in a settlement enabling the client to proceed with their development plans.
Commercial dairy farm - Acted for the owners of a commercial dairy farm in successful High Court proceedings under Paragraph 12 of Schedule 15 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. This was to quash a definitive map modification order made by Kirklees in relation to an alleged public right of way through the farm (the existence of which is disputed).
National church charity - Represented a national Christian church on a pro bono basis. The church was faced with a substantial claim by one of its landlords for unpaid rent and other charges. The charity was unable to pay due to the closure of their premises by the COVID-19 restrictions, and wished to end their lease the premises (which were no longer required). The claim was settled on favourable terms including the unconditional surrender of the client’s lease (which had more than 10 years left to run).
National solicitor’s firm – Representing a national firm of solicitors in relation to a complex multi-party dispute over property damage to London office premises. To date the dispute has involved pursuing a substantial claim for damages against multiple parties (all denying liability) and defending a claim by the clients’ former landlords of those premises that the client’s exercise of a break option in their lease was invalid/the lease still exists.
'James Walters was polite, calm, concise. Very well organised young man. Is realistic with expectations and is very responsive with email and letter writing. James is very professional but yet showed considerable empathy towards our situation and that helped us to relax when dealing with him. He was excellent in preparation for (our High Court) Challenge and was successful in achieving a good outcome without going into court. We have been very happy to work with him.' - Agricultural business owner, Legal 500, 2022
'(The) team especially, James Walters deliver a comprehensive service.' - National retailer, Legal 500, 2022
James "is realistic with expectations and is very responsive with email and letter writing. James is very professional but yet showed considerable empathy towards our situation and that helped us to relax when dealing with him. We have been very happy to work with him." - Legal 500, 2021
Take notice: What constitutes reasonable notice to vacate?
Let there be light: an interesting case on the acquisition and release of tenants’ rights of light
Can I estopp you there? Deadlines under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 and the role of estoppel
Off the beaten path? A practical guide for developers to public rights of way (Part One of Two)
Off the beaten path? A practical guide for developers to public rights of way (Part Two of Two)
Webinar - Guidance for Landlords and Tenants on Renewing and Terminating Leases During COVID-19 - 7 May 2020